Giving Back

Airman Surprises Grandfather During Holiday Visit

Vincent Corsaro was treated to a surprise visit from his grandson, Joseph Kocotos, who is an Airman First Class serving with the U.S. Air Force overseas.
fe2f5ec67706dbb0e0ee_Kocotossurprise.jpg
Pictured is Vincent Corsaro, who turned 80 earlier this month, and was given a surprise visit from his grandson, Joseph Kocotos, who was on leave from military service for the holidays. Credits: Abby Buccelli
887f2cf10f8a98a5b325_Kocotossurprise3.jpg
Joseph Kocotos, Airman First Class, gives his grandfather Vincent Corsaro a surprise visit for his birthday last Saturday at The Kitch, located in Little Falls. Credits: Abby Buccelli
47e07d2a490550ae7d2c_Kocotossurprise4.jpg
Pictured are friends and family of Joseph Kocotos. Joe flew in for the holidays and gave a surprise visit to his grandfather Vincent Corsaro for his 80th birthday. Credits: Abby Buccelli
fe2f5ec67706dbb0e0ee_Kocotossurprise.jpg

LITTLE FALLS, NJ - A grandfather's birthday wish came true this holiday season, when his beloved grandson made a surprise visit to him.

Vincent Corsaro, who turned 80 on Dec. 9, wasn't sure when he'd see his grandson, Joseph Kocotos, who is an Airman First Class  serving with the U.S. Air Force overseas, currently stationed in Okinawa, Japan at Kadena Air Base.

According to Michele Kocotos, Joseph's mother, the last time the she, her father Vincent, and her other two children, Carol and Tony, and Joe's friends saw him was on Oct. 26, 2016. It was assumed that he would be serving again during the holidays this year but when they found out that he would make it back to the U.S., the family thought of a wonderful way to surprise Vincent.

Sign Up for E-News

"We thought of a great way to really give my father a wonderful surprise birthday and holiday gift," Michele explained. "So Joe arrived on Dec. 21 and stayed at his father's house in Clifton until he arrived at the destination we chose to celebrate my father's 80th birthday."

Last Saturday, Dec.22, Joe walked in with a birthday cake in hand and a huge smile at The Kitch, located at 101 Newark Turnpike. According to Vincent, he was in shock and beside himself with joy.

"My father was so surprised that he just froze and could barely talk after seeing Joe," she said. "But he and everyone else were so overjoyed. I started to cry. It was very emotional.”

This past fall, Michele led a letter writing campaign to send to many of the troops stationed where Joe serves.  With the assistance from  the Little Falls School District, Passaic Valley High School, as well as local Girl Scouts, over 4,500 letters were written and collected to send to Joe and the other men and women of the military.

Michele had said she wanted to dig deeper and find the true meaning of the holiday season, even though it was only September when the letter writing campaign kicked off.  So in lieu of monetary donations, she asked that individuals take time to write a card and expressed over social media that she only wanted letters. The request quickly snowballed and soon people on Facebook and Twitter across the country began writing letters and getting the word out.

Michele said that the surprise visit by Joe was the perfect birthday present for Vincent.

"If you look at the video, my father just literally froze," she added. "We knew it would be the perfect way for him to celebrate his birthday by seeing Joe. We knew it would be the best surprise, which was why we planned it!"

Michele also thanked the owners of The Kitch for assisting the surprise visit and helping to make it so special.

"I had taken my father there before and he loves it there. Everyone thought the food was so delicious and they couldn't stop talking about it. It was a great time."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Passaic Valley

Upcoming Events

Wed, February 28, 6:45 PM

Alfred Baumann Public Library, Woodland Park

Baumann Book Club

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, March 3, 12:00 AM

Nutley

Paranology 101 at the Kingsland Manor

Other

Sat, March 3, 12:00 PM

The Bethwood, Totowa

Have-A-Heart Tricky Tray

Food & Drink Giving Back

Mon, March 5, 1:00 PM

Totowa Public Library, Totowa

Totowa Public Library Adult Coloring Club

Adopt A Pet

February 20, 2018

These two, 6-month-old Retriever mixes came to us from Puerto Rico along with their mother and siblings. Coqui (yellow) and Nutmeg (chocolate) are both extremely friendly, affectionate and playful young ladies eagerly awaiting a family to call their own. Check our Petfinder page to see more adoptables. Meet some of them on Saturdays at the Petco, 1 Route 46 west in Totowa, from ...